In my opinion, at $4M+ a year, Bret Bielema has been a very average or marginal head coach, at best. I don’t buy into the argument that Arkansas is destined to be an average team in the SEC, however. Bobby Petrino, and hell, even Houston Nutt on occasion disproved that argument.
Whether Bielema’s mediocrity is long term, I do not know. Much of it seems to be self inflicted. Anyone who can go on a five year run with consistently pathetic special team performances without hiring or assigning a competent special teams coach or coordinator, should take a long look in the mirror. No idea what goes on in the headset between coaches, but in close games, it often seems that the Head Hog is determined not to lose, instead of playing to win.
Having said that, I like Bielema and want him to succeed. More importantly, the players seem to really like the guy. However, at this point, his style of football in this league is questionable, unless you happen to play at a diifferent U of A. Frankly, I am not sure how you can successfully play ground and pound, ball control offense without a very solid defense to back it up. We’re not exactly wired for shootouts.
At any rate, as a fan this season has been bitterly disappointing and once again, almost from the beginning. Is there hope? I don’t know, but Trent Shadid at SEC Country writes an uplifting and encouraging article.
Keep hope alive.